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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

“The lame leading the lame”

February 22, 2024 (Thu)

11:00 am

Another lazy day around el RV hacienda. Now that we’ve decided to stick around for a few weeks, we’re in no hurry to do anything but laze about.

Another beautiful day with Harvey!


We are informed by a reliable source (Robert’s sister who actually pays attention), that “roadrunners here eat lizards, bugs, scorpions, and baby quail.” Gini remembers that her Mom used to freeze meatballs to feed to the roadrunners.


Robert, who checks the internet to see just how cute baby quail are (very) discovers that you can buy two dozen fertile quail eggs for about $26 on Amazon.


“We could raise our own road—”

“No. Just no.”



We saddle up Harvey (which involves securing everything that might go sailing through the interior, battening down the hatches, and tying down the toilet paper) and head into the metropolis of Borrego Springs.


We find The Market, which is right next to The Thrift Store.


Best of all, The Thrift Store is next to A Place That Sells Margaritas and it’s after noon! Robert indulges in some local culture while Gini checks out The Thrift Store. Fortunately, Gini “wasn’t in a Thrift Shop mood,” so we don’t have to worry about where to stow too much new cargo.

Robert relaxes with a margarita at one of the several dozen local Mexican restaurants


3:00 pm

We have a quick two-hour nap fueled by those margaritas consumed earlier (well, Gini had a piña colada, but it has a similar effect).


Day 9 Travel

From our campsite to the market, thrift shop, and margarita dispensing station (all within wobbling distance of each other)




February 23, 2024 (Fri)

10:50 am The Springs at Borrego

This is our original departure date (seems like we just got here—hence why Gini decided we should stay a bit longer). However, Gini had made plans to meet up with various folks she knew from the 20th century, so we need to depart for a couple of days before coming back.


Which means that we’re busy getting ready to strike camp including taking showers, relaxing in the mineral spa (a critical part of striking camp), and trying to fit all our stuff back into Harvey.


Finally, we are ready to go—with ten minutes to spare!—and we head back out of town. The center of Borrego Springs is a big roundabout with a City Park in the center (it’s a big roundabout). As Robert careens around this giant circle, he suddenly pulls up short and slams into a parking spot!


“What on earth are you doing?!?” squeals Gini.


“Concourse!” yells Robert as he leaps from Harvey.


One thing you should know about Chinook RV’s is that when you buy one, you get free membership in the Chinook cult. Every one of these was hand built in Yakima, WA and the company went out of business in 2008. So the newest one is 16 years old and most of them are 20 or more years old. (Harvey is 24.)


These are well-built, well-designed, and well-thought out RV’s, and the people that own them generally love them. We have Facebook groups and meet-ups at various places around the country.


Although they are long-lasting and well-taken care of, there’s not that many of them. But they have a unique design that makes it easy to spot, and Robert had spotted one parked near the roundabout!

Meeting another Chinook Concourse! It’s a cult!


The other Concourse is a 1998, so Harvey’s older brother, and it’s amazing how much they look alike. Just like the VW Beetle, Chinook made small changes each year as they improved the design. (They are all rear-entry, which provides more interior space, including room for a larger refrigerator, which we very much like.)


We get photos, admire each others’ taste in RV’s and then hit the road.


12:30 pm Julian, CA

This town has got so much quaint, it is oozing out its ears. Even the gas station is quaint (although, fortunately, it sells modern gasoline, not quaint kerosene). The two big industries here are tourism and apples (and sometimes both at once, as they sell over-priced apple pies to tourists!).


We are not here for the apples or the quaintness, but to meet up with old friends of Gini’s. They all knew each other from a church that Gini attended some 25 years ago. They haven’t seen each other since then, so there’s some catching up to do.


We have lunch at a quaint sandwich shop.

A local sidewalk store—if the owner’s not around, put your money in the box—selling incense, crystals, and sage leaves (for spiritual cleansing)


Robert was hoping to find something he liked, but they didn’t have anything in his size



2:15 pm

Even after lunch, they still haven’t completely caught up, so Gini has the brilliant idea to head for Harvey. Her friend Tom has hearing aids, and doesn’t do well in noisy places, while her friend Robin has had a stroke and doesn’t do well in crowded places.


Harvey is quiet and nearby and warm-- a perfect meeting place!

Julian main street: relentlessly quaint and old-timey


4:00 pm

Much catching up has occurred and now it’s time to head for pie and ice cream (well, for Tom and Robin—Gini and Robert have gave up processed sugar a year ago and Robert never much cared for pie, so we watch).

Every single pie in this picture is a different type of homemade pie


Tom, a former fireman, is an above-the-knee amputee; Robin has had a stroke and is paralyzed on one side; Gini is still using walking sticks now and then to get around outside and avoid falls so as Robin said, it’s like “the lame leading the lame”, but is there one handicapped parking space in the entire Quaint Town of Julian?


Nope. So Robert parks right in front of the business and lets Harvey’s rear end jut out into the road. Sometimes he’s a handy guy to have around.


5:00 pm

Visiting done, we now need to make our way to San Juan Capistrano. Despite the fact that it looks pretty close by on a map, it is not. Furthermore, all the towns around here pride themselves on being Dark Skies Communities, meaning they don’t have street lights or really lights of any kind.


While we think this is a great idea for star-gazing, it’s a lousy idea for driving. Robert drives more like a maniac than usual as he tries to beat sundown.


6:30 pm Oceanside, CA

We have never been so happy to see a freeway! It’s well-lit and easy to keep track of where we’re going (just follow the other 900 drivers). No twisty turny dark roads with ditches or drop-offs waiting for the inattentive driver.


7:45 pm Dana Point, CA

We made it to Larry and Lorna’s house. We visit for a bit, and then climb into Harvey, parked on the street conveniently located outside their house and fall asleep.


Day 10 Travel

Our travel on Day 10 (Friday)



Gini & Robert                                                                                

Harvey Staff

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1 Comment

Feb 24

Oh lord, you are another of my area. Borrego Springs and Julian and Dana Point.

Expensive apple pie in Julian in the spring time after a road trip from San Diego. Tasted like, um, apple pie. Nothing special. Except we made the drive and had to justify it somehow.

And surfing in Dana Point harbor at the jetty.

Keep exploring!

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